I want to be a sipahi
Everyone wants to be a general but noone wants to be a sipahi! But it is the soldiers of this world who work, often thanklessly, that make a real difference.
To enjoy power is human. Political leaders enjoy power while fooling the public enough to get them to vote for them; a cleric enjoys this power while issuing fatwas; a jirga-head enjoys this power while awarding punishment to a criminal according to his law; a police inspector enjoys this power as he orders riot police to engage protesters; a teenager enjoys this power while driving his car at 160 kilometres per hour while a poor labourer enjoys this power as he beats his wife.
As a researcher I conduct field surveys across Pakistan and recommend policies to decision makers for better development outcomes. Over the years I have realised the tremendous potential in our nation. Our people are patriotic, informed, tough, and have a good-heart. The only limitation I found is that everybody wants heaven but nobody wants to die, in other words, everybody wants to be a general but nobody wants to be a sipahi.
The reason why I use the term sipahi in place of political worker or karkun and general’ instead of political Leader is because a sipahi has nothing to lose nor does he have anything to gain - yet he is always ready to help. He does not have any personal or political motives.
Sipahi's are ‘silent angels’ who live among us in peace and only appear when there is a need. Whereas, generals enjoy unlimited power and have no accountability. This mind-set prevails not only in our leaders but in our youths as well. I would not blame the youth - they are patriotic and want to bring about change for their people. The only way they think it can be done is if they have the same powers as that of a general - to impose their doctrines.
We are a tough nation. We have seen millions migrating in 1947; have experienced the ‘fall of Dhaka’ in 1971; gave home to 3.0 million Afghans in 1979; have faced hatred since 9/11; have tackled the massive earthquake of 2005; have accompanied 0.25 million IDPs during Swat Operation in 2009 and we will face these unprecedented floods of 2010 with dignity.
I am filled with pride when I realise and see so much good in ourselves; however, the challenge is to bring the potential of Pakistanis out into the open. I don’t have any power to enjoy or any resources to offer but I do have knowledge and spirit to offer to this country.
What I want is to be a sipahi!